Manchester - James Taylor's maiden one-day international hundred was the cornerstone of England's 300 for eight against Australia in the day/night clash at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Taylor, brought back after England rested Ashes-winner Joe Root from this series, was out for 101 having been left short of a hundred on 98 not out when England were beaten by eventual champions Australia at the World Cup in Melbourne in February.
The diminutive 25-year-old Nottinghamshire batsman, playing his 21st match at this level, faced 114 balls.
But it was a testament to Australia's accuracy that he only managed five fours.
And whether England, who at 2-0 down with three to play against world champions Australia after a 64-run loss at Lord's on Saturday had to win this match to keep the series alive, had enough runs on the board remained to be seen.
Taylor, whose fifty contained just one boundary, and England captain Eoin Morgan (62) put on 119 for the third wicket.
But the partnership would have been curtailed had not wicket-keeper Matthew Wade missed a stumping off ODI debutant spinner Ashton Agar when left-hander Morgan was on 15.
As it was Australia slowed England's run-rate, with a total of 200 for two in 32 overs, advancing only to 245 for four in the 43rd over.
After Taylor holed out in the last over, it needed some clean-hitting from Chris Woakes, including a six off Mitchell Starc, to take England to 300.
Jason Roy (63) launched England's innings in style after Morgan won the toss with his second fifty in three innings this series.
Roy struck four fours in five balls off left-arm quick Starc in the seventh over, including a confident pull and a whip shot off his legs that split mid-on and mid-wicket.
But fellow opener Alex Hales could only manage nine off 31 balls and, once again this series, he was out hitting the ball straight to a fielder when he clipped paceman Pat Cummins to Mitchell Marsh at mid-wicket.
Roy, however, was unable to better his previous highest score at this level of 67 in the series opener at Southampton.
Tied down by Agar, the Surrey batsman also gave his wicket away when he tamely chipped the left-armer to Glenn Maxwell at short extra-cover.
England were now 86 for two off 15 overs.
Cummins then made life tough for Taylor and Morgan with an 18th over where every delivery was in excess of 91 mph.
Morgan, fresh from his 85 at Lord's, cashed in on Wade's error with a 46-ball fifty including seven fours.
Taylor followed him to the landmark in 59 balls before Morgan's straight six off all-rounder Mitchell Marsh completed the pair's century stand.
Their partnership ended when Morgan lofted off-spinner Maxwell to Starc at long-off.
Taylor went to his hundred in nervous fashion when his drive of Cummins hit non-striker Woakes's bat and rebounded into the stumps.
He sprinted down the pitch and dived for his ground before the umpires decided to reject Cummins's run-out appeal after he took a stump out of the ground.